I’m a mom now, so I could start this letter by saying how I have three little girls and how it’s so important for girls to see powerful female characters and all that. But even though that’s important, that’s not what I want to say. This letter is from me.
Growing up I knew about Wonder Woman. I just didn’t really care about Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and awesome, but constantly overshadowed by characters like Batman and Superman. She didn’t really seem to have her own thing going on–if I ever saw her, it was as a member of the Justice League, a pretty chauffeur in an invisible jet. She never saved the day. She wasn’t a crunch player. She wasn’t an MVP. She was a token female and I figured she had to be dating someone or they wouldn’t have let her in. The original live action Wonder Woman from the 1974 film, Lynda Carter, was pretty awesome, but she still didn’t inspire me. She was so dainty. Lynda Carter was unbelievably refined and beautiful, and I had skinned knees and oversized Pokémon t-shirts. Unfortunately, she just seemed like another standard of femaleness that I wouldn’t hit.
A couple nights ago I went to see the new Wonder Woman film with my husband, and I remember thinking on the way to the theatre that I could have waited to see it on demand. I wasn’t into the idea of a Wonder Woman movie because I didn’t need to see any more watered down sex symbols on the big screen. I had seen the posters and the ads, and Gal Gadot was freaking hot. That wasn’t a good sign. Sure, she looked the part for the Princess of Themyscira, but what hot woman in Hollywood ever gets to play a meaningful role, especially in a superhero movie?
I was blown away.
Wonder Woman was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Diana was tough, hard headed, spoiled, compassionate, loving, sarcastic, and completely unimpressed with herself and her own beauty. DC casted a gorgeous woman and left it at that. They let her breathe on the screen and become three-dimensional. The phenomenal (and female) director of this movie, Patty Jenkins, allowed Diana a real experience. She made no apologies (a lesson I need to learn), struggled with her belief in men but never her belief in herself, cooed over babies, had sex on the first date, and set clear boundaries with the men and women around her. Diana was a woman. Honestly, her fighting style was straight up badass, but that wasn’t what made me get all excited and teary-eyed during this film. I loved the fact that Wonder Woman was humble without being self-deprecating, that she apologized when it was appropriate but not constantly, and she did whatever she needed or wanted to do without waiting for permission.
Thank you, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot, for being beautiful, humble, and for doing what you needed to do without waiting for permission. Thank you DC, for allowing Wonder Woman to be the best you’ve ever made, for allowing her to be better than Batman and Superman and the entire Justice League (because this was the best DC superhero movie I’ve ever seen). Thank you to all the Wonder Womans that ran at the glass ceiling before to set the tone for this film to exist. And thank you for allowing her to just be Diana. You have given millions of women permission to just be themselves, too.